Lawmakers OK bill keeping school buses on the road

March 18, 2014
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Legislators delivered a temporary reprieve to Westfield Washington Schools and other cash-strapped districts facing steep losses in their transportation budgets.

But the final version of House Bill 1062, approved by both chambers last week with just one no vote, did not include a Senate amendment that also would have allowed some schools to test the market for school-bus advertising.

“We would have explored options, had we been part of the pilot, but it came up so quickly that we really hadn't even started to look into options,” said Mark Keen, Westfield Washington’s superintendent.

As IBJ reported in January, Westfield Washington is one of nearly 60 school districts across the state that stand to lose at least 20 percent of the tax revenue collected for transportation, bus replacement and capital because of so-called protected levy legislation intended to make sure they pay their debt.

Westfield Washington, which stood to lose 91 percent of its transportation funding, notified the state Department of Education last year that it would stop transporting students to school in 2016 unless the situation was resolved.

The legislative fix, which is still awaiting Gov. Mike Pence’s signature, lets districts spread their tax-cap losses over several funds rather than requiring that debt-service accounts remain whole. It applies to districts facing losses of 10 percent or more—about 90 statewide.

It’s just a stop-gap measure, stemming the schools’ losses for three years, but officials say it helps.

“This gives us more time to avoid the loss, and we will continue to work with legislators for a permanent fix,” said Mike Reuter, chief financial officer of Hamilton Southeastern Schools in Fishers.

HSE, Westfield, Noblesville and Zionsville schools are affected by the legislation. Carmel, Sheridan and Hamilton Heights schools all fell under the 10-percent threshold.

“In three years, if we get the growth that we expect, we will still be impacted, but to a much lesser degree,” Westfield’s Keen said.

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  • Sad
    Frankly I think it is sad that we potentially have to turn our children's transportation to school into an advertisement opportunity in order to afford it. I can't wait until we have Lucas Oil High School because we don't see education as the priority that it is.

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  1. Of what value is selling alcoholic beverages to State Fair patrons when there are many families with children attending. Is this the message we want to give children attending and participating in the Fair, another venue with alooholic consumption onsite. Is this to promote beer and wine production in the state which are great for the breweries and wineries, but where does this end up 10-15 years from now, lots more drinkers for the alcoholic contents. If these drinks are so important, why not remove the alcohol content and the flavor and drink itself similar to soft drinks would be the novelty, not the alcoholic content and its affects on the drinker. There is no social or material benefit from drinking alcoholic beverages, mostly people want to get slightly or highly drunk.

  2. I did;nt know anyone in Indiana could count- WHY did they NOT SAY just HOW this would be enforced? Because it WON;T! NOW- with that said- BIG BROTHER is ALIVE in this Article-why take any comment if it won't appease YOU PEOPLE- that's NOT American- with EVERYTHING you indicated is NOT said-I can see WHY it say's o Comments- YOU are COMMIES- BIG BROTHER and most likely- voted for Obama!

  3. In Europe there are schools for hairdressing but you don't get a license afterwards but you are required to assist in turkey and Italy its 7 years in japan it's 10 years England 2 so these people who assist know how to do hair their not just anybody and if your an owner and you hire someone with no experience then ur an idiot I've known stylist from different countries with no license but they are professional clean and safe they have no license but they have experience a license doesn't mean anything look at all the bad hairdressers in the world that have fried peoples hair okay but they have a license doesn't make them a professional at their job I think they should get rid of it because stateboard robs stylist and owners and they fine you for the dumbest f***ing things oh ur license isn't displayed 100$ oh ur wearing open toe shoes fine, oh there's ONE HAIR IN UR BRUSH that's a fine it's like really? So I think they need to go or ease up on their regulations because their too strict

  4. Exciting times in Carmel.

  5. Twenty years ago when we moved to Indy I was a stay at home mom and knew not very many people.WIBC was my family and friends for the most part. It was informative, civil, and humerous with Dave the KING. Terri, Jeff, Stever, Big Joe, Matt, Pat and Crumie. I loved them all, and they seemed to love each other. I didn't mind Greg Garrison, but I was not a Rush fan. NOW I can't stand Chicks and all their giggly opinions. Tony Katz is to abrasive that early in the morning(or really any time). I will tune in on Saturday morning for the usual fun and priceless information from Pat and Crumie, mornings it will be 90.1

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